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Streaker Open at Ripon Sailing Club

by Chris Wright 1 Nov 2021 18:11 GMT 30 October 2021
Ripon Streaker Open © Gail Jackson

Ripon SC's Streaker open meeting wasn't just any old open meeting, it was also the Streaker Class Association's End of Season Championship, the final event in the P&B sponsored Northern Paddle series, the final event in the Rooster sponsored Rooster Super series and the final event in the Yorkshire Series too.

Nineteen boats competed in sometimes testing conditions. Ripon SC's water is on a former gravel pit that is vaguely egg timer shaped - two areas of water linked by "the narrows" alongside the clubhouse. Covid and lockdowns have done nothing to help a planned tree management programme so the wind strength and direction can provide some "interesting" variations. The forecast was remarkably accurate, SSE 8 to 10 mph, then dropping for a time, before veering SSW 12 to 14 mph. The hope was that the dropping and veering phase would happen over the lunch break but no such luck, it arrived during Race 1.

The opening beat was closely contested by Nigel Pepperdine (Staunton Harold SC) and Giles Thirkleston-Smith (Welton SC) but Thirkleston-Smith pushed his luck going too close to the bank on the run and ran aground, dropping back to 4th. The wind continued to drop during the race and at times it was a case of negotiating a route between gusts and hoping to come out on top in the snakes and ladders conditions As the race progressed five boats got away from the rest of the fleet and there were big changes of fortune amongst them on the final lap. Ian Priest (Ripon SC) went from 5th to 1st on the final run then back to 5th again just as swiftly, while Mike Eggleston (Ripon SC) was able to make use of local knowledge up the final beat, finishing in 2nd place behind Nigel Pepperdine, with Phil Priestley (Yorkshire Dales SC) in 3rd place.

Race 2 got under way in much better conditions with enough breeze for some planing in the gusts. Neil Dyer (Hykeham SC) led from the start though was hard pressed at times by chasers, particularly on the runs when gusts favoured first one group then another. Local knowledge was useful for transitting the narrows, where the shortest route is invariably not the quickest and short term losses for long term gains were the order of the day. Each lap was completed with a short beat along the southern shoreline followed by a reach back towards the finish line and this beat always served to shuffle the pack. The obvious route, away from the bank and in clearer air, should have been quickest but wasn't (or not always, just to keep them on their toes) and a lift off the bank produced a number of place changes. Nigel Pepperdine briefly took the lead around the penultimate mark but then suffered the indignity of capsizing after rounding, that mark being the notorious home of wayward gusts, holes and shifts. He was swiftly on his way again though and finished 2nd within a boat length of Neil Dyer and ahead of Ian Priest in 3rd.

The final race was sailed in similar conditions and Giles Therkleston-Smith took the lead up the first beat, a position he hardly relinquished for the rest of the race. He didn't have it easy though and was chased pretty much throughout by Nigel Pepperdine and Ian Priest. They in turn had Veronica Falat (Waveney and Oulton Broad YC) and Mike Eggleston in close attendance and this group of 5 were really the only ones in contention. The penultimate beat was a key point on each lap and never failed to shuffle at least some of the places as the race went on. On the final lap Nigel Pepperdine found a lift up the beat in the narrows to briefly take the lead, only to lose it within a couple of tacks when he ventured too far from the bank and into a wind shadow, allowing Giles Therkleston-Smith to take a lead which he held to the finish, ahead of Nigel Pepperdine 2nd and Veronica Falat 3rd.

The day concluded with a table full of prizes. Not just those for the day's event but also a selection of gear sponsored by Rooster for series winners and a prize draw for a brand new P&B sail.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3Pts
1stNigel Pepperdine2136Staunton Harold SC1‑223
2ndGiles Therkelston‑Smith1616Welton SC‑4415
3rdMike Eggleston2117Ripon SC2‑646
4thVeronica Falat1972Waveney and Oulton Broad YC‑6538
5thIan Priest2106Ripon SC‑5358
6thNeil Dyer1822Hykeham SC‑10189
7thPhil Priestley1922Yorkshire Dales SC38‑911
8thTim Coleman1821Ripon SC8‑11614
9thRichard Brook1846Ripon SC7‑9714
10thJames Ricketts1863Ripon SC‑1171017
11thPeter Kitchen1914Tees and Hartlepool YC910‑1519
12thFiona Spence1933Ripon SC‑14121224
13thStuart Burnett1985Beaver SC12‑141426
14thKatie Masterson2112St Mary's Loch SC‑13131326
15thRichard Brameld1569Welton SC‑16161127
16thHelen Voisey1814Ripon SC1515‑1730
17thTim Bell1911Beaver SC‑18171633
18thAlastair Hall1586Ripon SC17‑191936
19thAndy Hague1967Ripon SC(RET)181836

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